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Indian Government responds to WhatsApp court plea: Right to Privacy is not absolute

In response to WhatsApp moving the Delhi High Court against the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules 2021 that requires the messaging platform to break end-to-end encryption, the Central government said it does not have any intention to violate the privacy of a citizen. At the same time, the government said that Right to Privacy is not absolute and that compliance with the rules was necessary for 'public interest'. On May 25, which was the last day to comply with the IT Rules 2021, WhatsApp approached the Delhi High Court challenging the provision of the rules that states that the platform has to trace the first originator of a message. WhatsApp in its plea said that the rules would require the platform to break its "end-to-end" encryption, a feature it claims provides complete privacy to messages on the platform. Breaking the encryption, would in turn infringe upon the fundamental right of the Right to Privacy of users, WhatsApp said in its petition. Download a copy of WhatsApp’s petition here. In a strongly worded release, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology termed WhatsApp's 'last-minute' challenge in the court as an attempt to prevent the Intermediary Guidelines from coming to effect. Centre also said that the non-compliance with the rules was a "defiance of a measure whose intent can certainly not be doubted". It also sought to remind the Facebook-owned messaging platform that "any operations being run in India are subject to the law of land". IT Minister…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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